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“Quite enjoyable, decent value, not marvellous”
Review of Balthazar's Keuken

Balthazar's Keuken
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Ranked #508 of 3,900 Restaurants in Amsterdam
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $37 - $37
Cuisines: French, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
Neighborhood: Jordaan
Description: Balthazars Keuken restaurant in the heart of the Jordaan district is one of Amsterdam's most special restaurants. It is a long, narrow space set in a former smithy, with scrubbed wooden floors, an open kitchen with pans and utensils hanging in plain view. The moss-coloured banquettes, unadorned wooden seating, and plain white table linens add to the ambience of simplicity and relaxation. And it's tiny, seating just about 30 inside and a few more on the bijou terrace in fine weather. 'Romantic' must be Balthazar's middle name, in spite of the plain surroundings. Owners Karen Gaasterland and Alain Parry create internationally-inflected three-course fixed-price dinners, with a menu that changes every week. They create. You enjoy. No choice about the dishes, though. The starters are tidbits meant to appeal to all. The mains are perfectly-sourced fish or meat with sides. House wine is from the Languedoc, chosen to complement the Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Dinner and lunch from Wednesday through Saturday. Groups up to ten can dine in the restaurant then, or hire the entire venue for private events during the rest of the week. Very popular, very packed.
Bromley, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
137 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Quite enjoyable, decent value, not marvellous”
Reviewed April 19, 2014

I was a little concerned about the rather 'up and down' nature of the reviews. Our experience was perfectly OK but not such that i would urge you not to miss it. There is a set menu (5 hors d'oeuvres) a meat /fish choice of main course and a dessert. The fact there are 5 hors d'oeuvres, freshly made just next to where we were sitting, means there should be something for everybody. All were fine, none legendary. The main course was duck confit or swordfish: my wife's duck was the star of the show, my swordfish having a slightly vinegary taste from the dressing of what it sat on ( and for me, possibly being slightly over-cooked). Dessert (poached pear) was nice enough. I think the reviews may be explained by different expectations: what you get is actually more like decent home-cooking than anything else. It is also rather cramped and tables are small, so not a place for an intimate evening. Fortunately for us, the American couple next to us proved to be entertaining dining companions. About 85 euros for the set menu + two glasses of Prosecco and a half-bottle of the fruity but and rustic southern Italian Cabernet Sauvignon, which is decent value for what you get.Check opening times: it appears to be open Wednesday to Saturday only.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Simon R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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278 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    150
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level 6 Contributor
487 reviews
318 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 291 helpful votes
“Bloody Marvellous”
Reviewed April 12, 2014 via mobile

We stumbled across this restaurant and were lucky to get a reservation for the following night.This small restaurant is fully packed over the weekend. The menu is changed on a weekly basis.Diners can only choose one of two main courses of seafood or meat. The starters and desserts are predetermined by the chef.Our starters comprised mozzarella cheese with plum red wine vinaigrette, pancetta with baked fennel, salmon with pickles & pistachios, egg with mayo sauce, lemon oil & parmesan and duck tartare with anxhovies. It was a delicious platter of starters . For mains, we had sole with mussels and lamb cutlets with black lentils.Both of these were the best that we have ever tasted.These were tender and juicy . However, the mango chilli ice-cream was only average. The mango flavour was missing . The seating was very cramped.

Helpful?
1 Thank CKY281
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
165 reviews
104 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Lost its appeal”
Reviewed March 23, 2014 via mobile

We make a point of eating here on every visit to Amsterdam and were excited to introduce our friends to it on this our 4th time. We used to love it for the fabulous fresh and inventive dishes and the excellent value. I'm sad to report we had a very disappointing meal. The 6-item starter tasted like it had been sitting for some time before being served, and none of them tasted very good (in particular the mussel was overdone and the eggplant had an unpleasant sour flavor). Two of us were happy with the tuna steak main course, but the two who ordered the quail were unhappy - it was dry, bland and with not much meat on it. And it's not a good sign that none of us can remember the dessert! We left feeling like we had wasted one of only 3 dinners in Amsterdam, concluding that this restauarant's heyday has passed. We will not be coming back.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank yygrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Attard, Malta
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“good place to dine”
Reviewed March 20, 2014 via mobile

We went to balthazar's kitchen as it was suggested by a friend. The restaurant is quite small and very noisy however their food is great. The tuna steak on sepia rice is a must have! Overall expierence was positive. Keep in mind that they have a set menu!

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank sscerri-malta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crieff, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“outstanding”
Reviewed March 18, 2014

An amazing experience! menu is very clever (a tapas style starter plate of 6 dishes, choice between meat or fish for main course and a plated dessert with many components). all prepare and cooked by your waiter in front of you (open planned kitchen). Wine of the week was the perfect match for the menu. I would definitely return if in Amsterdam again.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Pierre L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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